Blog https://www.publiccharters.org/ en It’s Official: Facilities Support for Charter Schools Falls Short https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/11/10/its-official-facilities-support-charter-schools-falls-short <span>It’s Official: Facilities Support for Charter Schools Falls Short</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/09/2021 - 14:41</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/kim-mccabe" hreflang="en">Kim McCabe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-11-10T12:00:00Z">November 10, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-11/School%20Wall.png?itok=4-7P5mXo" width="250" height="250" alt="School wall with student art, water fountains, and table" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span>Over the past two years, public education has been turned on its head. Enrollment in district schools has taken a nosedive, while <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/22/3-things-know-about-charter-school-enrollment-during-pandemic">charter school enrollment is on the rise</a>. One thing that hasn’t changed? Charter schools still have extremely limited access to facilities. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The General Accountability Office (GAO), a non-partisan office of Congress, recently released their <a href="https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-21-104446">study</a> on charter schools’ ability to locate and secure facilities. No surprises here, they found there is not near adequate funding for charter schools to build and maintain proper facilities.</span></span></p> <h3><span><span><strong>Make District Buildings Available to All Public Schools</strong></span></span></h3> <p><span><span>The GAO report supports <a href="https://facilitycenter.publiccharters.org/blog-post/2021/10/sharing-caring-public-school-children">our findings</a> that school districts could do a much better job of making available school buildings available to more public school students. The report highlighted a school could not grow its middle school programs because they did not have enough space—even though the district had a suitable facility available. The report noted that school districts will sometimes designate extra facilities as “swing space” rather than make them available to charter schools. </span></span></p> <h3><span><span><strong>Help All Public Schools Access Affordable Facilities</strong></span></span></h3> <p><span><span>We know that charter schools are often forced to acquire private loans with high interest rates in order to access school buildings. In the GAO report, they cite a school district that specifically chose to exclude charter schools from a $50 million bond measure. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>What does that look like in practice? A bond offering for a charter school might be 4%, but the neighboring school district was able to borrow money at less than half that interest rate at 2%. In that scenario, one public school is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars more in interest—money that could’ve been better invested directly into the classroom.  </span></span></p> <h3><span><span><strong>Federal Programs Are Falling Short</strong></span></span></h3> <p><span><span>On the federal side, the report highlights how inadequately federal programs support charter schools’ access to facilities. One grant, the State Facility Incentive Grant, funded about 20 schools in California each year from 2018-2020. This pales in comparison to the 1,300+ charter schools in California. This federal grant was awarded to only one state and funded less than 2% of the total number of charter schools in the state. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The federal Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program provided $293 million to support charter schools borrowing from 2009-20. However, charter schools have borrowed at least $30 billion over that timeframe, or 100x the amount of the federal support. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>There is a need for millions of dollars in <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/our-work/publications/strengthening-federal-investment-charter-school-facilities">more facility funding support</a> at the federal and state level—and the more we help public schools access buildings means those schools can devote more of their own resources into the classroom. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Up until the last couple weeks, there was the potential for more federal resources to become available for facilities.  For the last three years, the National Alliance has been working to ensure that charter schools receive equitable funding in Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott’s <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/604/amendments">Rebuild America’s Schools Act</a>, which proposes direct grants and bonds for school facilities, including charter schools. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Congress’s Build Back Better legislation included $83 billion for direct grants in school construction, but that funding was recently jettisoned due to disagreements in the overall bill’s funding amount amongst members of Congress. </span></span><span><span>While this is disappointing, Build Back Better may still include more resources—through New Markets Tax Credits. Even with an increase for New Markets Tax Credits, there is still much work to do to ensure that charter schools are treated equitably and have access to the facilities they need—and that’s why charter school facility funding and access are some of our top priorities at the National Alliance.</span></span></p> <p><br /> <em>Kim McCabe is the senior director of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/federal-funding" hreflang="en">federal funding</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/11/10/its-official-facilities-support-charter-schools-falls-short" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Tue, 09 Nov 2021 19:41:51 +0000 Melinda 28523 at https://www.publiccharters.org Three Wins for Families in the 2021 Elections https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/11/04/three-wins-families-2021-elections <span>Three Wins for Families in the 2021 Elections</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/04/2021 - 10:17</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/kim-mccabe" hreflang="en">Kim McCabe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-11-04T12:00:00Z">November 4, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-11/Black%20family%20celebrating%20stock%20photo%20%281%29.png?itok=3Ng8gTHV" width="250" height="250" alt="Black family celebrating stock photo" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>We know that over the past year and a half, families voted with their feet and made more decisions about where and how their kids are educated than ever before—and <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/22/3-things-know-about-charter-school-enrollment-during-pandemic">record numbers of families chose charter schools</a>. So, it’s no surprise that they took those votes to the polls this week, <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/11/03/national-alliance-public-charter-schools-congratulates-education-first">voting charter-friendly candidates into office</a>, across the country and across party lines. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Here are three of the most education-focused races that went the way of families this week. </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span>Board of Education, Albuquerque, N.M.</span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <ul> <li><strong>Danielle Gonzales</strong></li> <li><span><span><span><strong><span>Crystal Tapia-Romero</span></strong></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><strong><span>Courtney Jackson</span></strong></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span>Following frustrations driven by the pandemic, Albuquerque voters just elected a reform-minded school board. All three of the newly elected members are moms with students attending or graduated from Albuquerque Public Schools and they’ve all shared their support for charter schools as part of a strong public school system. They all actively campaigned on improving student outcomes and listening to families instead of the teachers’ union and bureaucracy, which put them at odds with the New Mexico political establishment—including the governor—heading into the vote, making their wins all that more victorious for families.</span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong>Governor, Virginia: Glenn Youngkin</strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Education took a front seat in the Virginia governor’s race this year. Virginia has one of <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/our-work/charter-law-database/states/virginia">the worst charter school laws</a> in the country, making it incredibly difficult for charter schools to open. Governor-elect Youngkin ran on a platform that promoted parent’s ability to choose the best public school for their kids, going as far to say in his acceptance speech that he’s, “<span>going to make a down payment and close the gap on giving parents an opportunity to select where their kids go to school.”</span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong>Mayor, New York City: Eric Adams</strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>New York City has reached its cap on the number of charter schools that can open under state law, while waitlists at successful schools are off the charts. Mayor-elect Adams has expressed support for supporting the city’s great schools and helping them to expand to serve more students. </span></span></span></p> <p>Know of any other election night wins for families? Shoot <a href="mailto:info@publiccharters.org"><strong>us an email</strong></a> and let us know! </p> <p> </p> <p><em>Kim McCabe is the senior director of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/11/04/three-wins-families-2021-elections" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Thu, 04 Nov 2021 14:17:34 +0000 Melinda 28451 at https://www.publiccharters.org What’s the Potential Impact of Federal Funding Bills on Charter School Funding? https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/22/whats-potential-impact-federal-funding-bills-charter-school-funding <span>What’s the Potential Impact of Federal Funding Bills on Charter School Funding?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/kayleypham" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayleypham</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/22/2021 - 11:22</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/drew-jacobs" hreflang="en">Drew Jacobs</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-10-22T12:00:00Z">October 22, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-10/University%20of%20Arkansas%20250x250_1.png?itok=etWDRtrt" width="250" height="250" alt="University of Arkansas building " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Researchers from the University of Arkansas released a <a href="Researchers from the University of Arkansas released a new study looking at what charter school students stood to lose should the U.S. House of Representative’s education funding bill pass. In the 18 cities examined, charter school students would lose an average of $1,131 per-pupil in school resources. The bill could eliminate all federal funding to charter schools contract with private companies to deliver services to their students, such as food, transportation, or curriculum.">new study</a> looking at what charter school students stood to lose should the U.S. House of Representative’s education funding bill pass. In the 18 cities examined, charter school students would lose an average of $1,131 per-pupil in school resources. The bill could eliminate all federal funding to charter schools contract with private companies to deliver services to their students, such as food, transportation, or curriculum.</p> <p>In the study, University of Arkansas researchers also used their 18-city simulation to debunk common myths surrounding charter schools that may have led to the introduction of this and other anti-charter legislation.</p> <h4><strong>The report debunks three major myths:</strong></h4> <p><em>Myth: Charter Funding is Equitable.</em></p> <p>Fact: Charter schools in the 18 cities examined are systematically underfunded relative to district schools and funding gaps are unrelated to the proportion of low-income students they serve.</p> <p><em>Myth: Charter Schools Turn Taxpayer Dollars into Private Sector Profits.</em></p> <p>Fact: Charter schools are public schools that dedicate a higher proportion of their funds to student instruction than district schools do.</p> <p><em>Myth: Charter Schools Receive More Non-Public Funding than District Schools.</em></p> <p>Fact: In many cities and in many years examined in the study, charter schools receive less non-public funding per-pupil than district schools and rely almost exclusively on funding from public sources.</p> <h4><strong>The report concludes with two major policy recommendations that we can get behind:</strong></h4> <ol> <li>Policymakers should avoid initiatives that would reduce funding for low-income students in public charter schools.</li> <li> Public school funding laws should be overhauled so that dollars are tied to what students need and not based on the type of public school they attend.</li> </ol> <p><a href="https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/wordpressua.uark.edu/dist/9/544/files/2018/10/21-1018-charter-school-funding-dispelling-myths-002.pdf"><strong>Read the full report</strong></a> and <strong><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/email-subscription-options">sign up to receive our advocacy alerts to hear the latest about what’s happening in Congress</a></strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Drew Jacobs is the senior director of research, policy, and evaluation at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/22/whats-potential-impact-federal-funding-bills-charter-school-funding" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Fri, 22 Oct 2021 15:22:28 +0000 kayleypham 28336 at https://www.publiccharters.org Hispanic Heritage Month: Two Stories of Parent Power https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/13/hispanic-heritage-month-two-stories-parent-power <span>Hispanic Heritage Month: Two Stories of Parent Power</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/brittnee" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brittnee</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/08/2021 - 12:15</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/brittnee-exum" hreflang="en">Brittnee Exum</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-10-13T12:00:00Z">October 13, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-10/Parents%20Idalia%20Rodriguez%20%28McGill%20School%20of%20Success%29%20and%20Erica%20Briseno%20%28San%20Diego%20Cooperative%20Charter%20School%29.png?itok=Nl9aB8Vq" width="250" height="250" alt="Parents Idalia Rodriguez (McGill School of Success) and Erica Briseno (San Diego Cooperative Charter School)" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span>Imagine loving your children’s school experience so much, you end up joining the administration team. Erica Briseno can truly relate—she started out as a parent volunteer and is currently the front office manager at San Diego Cooperative Charter School (SDCCS) in California. She’s been serving in this role since 2016 after the school first asked her to help sub in the front office which evolved into a full-time position for her.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Approximately 40% of students at SDCCS are Latino. Erica’s role involves reaching out to the Hispanic or Latino community. She believes representation is essential.</span></span></p> <blockquote> <p><span><span><em> “Latino people have been told to be quiet, but here,” </em>Erica notes,<em> “Here, they have a voice, and it’s home. They don’t see the difference; they just see a community that has embraced them.”</em></span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span>Erica has a son in the fifth grade and a daughter in the fourth grade at SDCCS. Her oldest child who is now in college attended the school in grades five through eight. Erica’s positive impact at the school has not gone unnoticed—in fact, she has inspired more parents to volunteer. SDCCS’s education director shared more how instrumental Erica has been.</span></span></p> <blockquote> <p><span><span><em>“Erica has always been a really engaged parent and has her finger on the pulse of the Latino community. She will pick up the phone and call parents, will translate parents, helping connect to the Latino parents – with all of the volunteering and meetings,” </em>said<em> </em>Sarah Saluta, SDCCS Education Director. </span></span></p> </blockquote> <center><a href="https://clicktotweet.com/yeUNG"><img alt="“Latino people have been told to be quiet, but here they have a voice, and it’s home. They don’t see the difference; they just see a community that has embraced them.” - Erica Briseno, charter school parent and front officer manager at San Diego Cooperative Charter School" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="21a649b0-2775-4c10-b22e-d4e7dfe7097e" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/CTT%20Erica%20Charter%20School%20Parent%20Quote%20Hispanic%20Heritage%20Month.png" class="align-center" /></a></center> <p><span><span>Also in California, Idalia Rodriguez knew when she first enrolled her son into McGill School of Success that she wanted to get involved. She started out volunteering and then served on the board for seven years, in the roles of secretary, vice president, and president (last year), and is currently still a member. </span></span></p> <blockquote> <p><span><span><em>“Idalia’s voice as board president was crucial as she was the only Latino/a on the board that served a school with 80% Latino student population” </em>says McGill School of Success Principal and CEO Norma Sandoval.<em> “Parents like Idalia play a key role in advocating for all children.” </em></span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span>Idalia’s son attended the school from kindergarten through fifth grade and is now a student at High Tech Middle Media School. Her daughter is currently in the third grade McGill School of Success. </span></span></p> <blockquote> <p><span><span><em>“I like it because I want my daughter to relate to kids with her heritage.” </em>Idalia adds,<em> “We have a principal who likes to teach about diversity and have an understanding where they came from and how they can impact their community as a whole.”</em> </span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span>Idalia believes with the challenges around immigration reform, we can teach our children to be leaders and set a positive example. </span></span></p> <blockquote> <p><span><span>Idalia says,<em> “We need to teach our youth that no matter what the challenges they face, understanding and being proud of your heritage only empowers you to be more successful and open to the diversity that surrounds the community you live in.”</em></span></span></p> </blockquote> <center><a href="https://clicktotweet.com/a2R3b"><img alt="“We need to teach our youth that no matter what the challenges they face, understanding and being proud of your heritage only empowers you to be more successful and open to the diversity that surrounds the community you live in.” - Idalia Rodriguez, charter school parent and volunteer at McGill School of Success" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a652378b-729b-4edf-9012-6304ed16be55" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/CTT%20Idalia%20Charter%20School%20Parent%20Quote%20Hispanic%20Heritage%20Month.png" class="align-center" /></a></center> <p><span><span>Thank you to Erica and Idalia, and all parents who engage in their children’s learning. Parent voice is essential in helping to shape school culture and their children’s learning experience. </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><em>Brittnee Exum is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/hispanic-students" hreflang="en">Hispanic students</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/13/hispanic-heritage-month-two-stories-parent-power" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Fri, 08 Oct 2021 16:15:06 +0000 Brittnee 28189 at https://www.publiccharters.org Leading Through a Lens of Identity: Cresthaven Academy Principal Monica Villafuerte https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/12/leading-through-lens-identity-cresthaven-academy-principal-monica <span>Leading Through a Lens of Identity: Cresthaven Academy Principal Monica Villafuerte </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/kayleypham" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayleypham</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/08/2021 - 16:24</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/kayley-pham" hreflang="en">Kayley Pham</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-10-12T12:00:00Z">October 12, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-10/HispanicHeritageMonth_v2Villafuerte_250x250.png?itok=5J5NVcmD" width="250" height="250" alt="Monica Villafuerte Headshot for Hispanic Heritage Month Q&amp;A" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span><span><span>As a part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, we sat down with Hispanic school leaders to learn about their heritage and how they celebrate this month. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Monica Villafuerte is the principal of Cresthaven Academy Charter School located in Plainfield, New Jersey. Here's what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>How Does Your Hispanic Heritage Impact Your Work?</span></span></strong></span></span></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>When I was young, I never imagined myself as a teacher, let alone a principal and charter school leader. I didn’t see people who looked like me in the classroom or as administrators. Today, I am a proud first-generation Hispanic American, and I am raising second-generation Hispanic American children. My heritage impacts my work because it’s the lens through which I see the world. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>It is a deep privilege to be able to look into the eyes of young children growing up as I did and tell them in English and Spanish that they truly can be anything they want to be. I model this for them by embracing my history, celebrating my Hispanic heritage, and letting it guide my work. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>How Does Your School Support Hispanic Students?</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Cresthaven Academy Charter School exists to provide a comprehensive education to <em>all</em> our scholars. We serve a predominantly Spanish-speaking population and support our Hispanic students and families by providing translated communication</span></span></span></span></span></span>—<span><span><span><span><span><span>written and verbal</span></span></span></span></span></span>—<span><span><span><span><span><span>for everything we do. We are proud of our dynamic and inclusive parent engagement, which includes five years and counting of 100% parent participation at parent-teacher conferences. By providing translators for every parent meeting, phone call, and conference, we are inviting our Spanish-speaking parents to a seat at the table and, in turn, parents are more engaged with their child’s learning. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>We also encourage our Spanish-speaking families to continue speaking Spanish at home, so students can continue to develop their bilingual skills. Lastly, we provide Sheltered English Instruction and ESL services for our English Language Learners. This Hispanic Heritage Month, in particular, we are celebrating that 100% of our current 5th grade scholars have now successfully exited the program.  </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Why Do You Think Hispanic Heritage Month is Important?</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>I am so grateful that Hispanic Heritage Month has become something our country celebrates and honors. As a little girl born and raised in New York City, I often felt that I was not American enough, and as a child visiting Ecuador each summer, I didn't feel like I was Ecuadorian enough, either. It wasn't until I was an adult that I was able to embrace the beauty and power of being a first-generation Hispanic American. It is truly a privilege that my career led me to Cresthaven Academy where I have the opportunity to work alongside a diverse staff to support a predominantly Spanish-speaking school community. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>This month, we get to be intentional about celebrating who we are as a community. I hope that all our students, regardless of where they were born or how they got here, know that they have a place in our country and our school. This month gives us room to embrace cultures and share the familiar pieces of our heritage, while also learning new pieces of the diverse culture surrounding us. When we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we tell Hispanic American children that it is okay to join their cultures and be proud of their rich heritage. I am honored to be a part of this work at Cresthaven Academy. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>How is Your School Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>At Cresthaven Academy, we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in a few special ways. In addition to infusing Latin songs, dances, and stories into brain breaks and lessons throughout the day, scholars are invited to share a favorite recipe that represents their culture. The recipes will be collected and shared school-wide for families to enjoy making at home. Classrooms are also engaging in door-decorating contests that will fill our hallways with the beauty of Hispanic culture and help scholars learn more about the person, country, or theme of their classroom’s door. As our grand finale celebration, we will host our annual Heritage Day on October 15. Instead of wearing school uniforms, scholars and staff are invited to dress in clothes that represent their heritage, culture, and/or family. We are looking forward to celebrating the diversity and rich heritage that make up Cresthaven Academy! </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><em>Kayley Pham is the coordinator of social and digital media at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. </em></p></div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/12/leading-through-lens-identity-cresthaven-academy-principal-monica" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Fri, 08 Oct 2021 20:24:09 +0000 kayleypham 28198 at https://www.publiccharters.org Heritage Informing Leadership: Strive PREP's Daniella Morello https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/07/heritage-informing-leadership-strive-preps-daniella-morello <span>Heritage Informing Leadership: Strive PREP&#039;s Daniella Morello</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/kayleypham" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kayleypham</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/06/2021 - 17:10</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/kayley-pham" hreflang="en">Kayley Pham</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-10-07T12:00:00Z">October 7, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-10/HispanicHeritageMonth_v2Morello_250x250.png?itok=MDDPlIV6" width="250" height="250" alt="Daniella Morello Headshot for Hispanic Heritage Month Q&amp;A" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This month, we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and all of the Hispanic individuals who are a part of the charter school community. As a part of this series, we are talking to Hispanic school leaders about what this month means to them. </p> <p>Daniella Morello is the chief external affairs officer at STRIVE Prep, a charter school network of 10 schools in Denver. Here's what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her.</p> <h3><strong>How does your Hispanic heritage impact your work?</strong></h3> <p><span><span>I am a proud Latina, first-generation American. My parents understood that a high-quality education was the one thing that could help my sisters and I have a better life, free of some of the struggles they faced. My dad always said, "education is the best gift I can give you." </span></span></p> <p><span><span>I do not take it lightly that I am the sole Latina on a leadership team that serves a primarily Latine population of students and families, many of which are also immigrants. In some ways I can understand some of the cultural norms at play, the challenges our families may face, and the beautiful strengths and assets they bring. We as Latinos are not a monolith, so I take the time to speak to and learn from our families and wider community so that, when we make decisions, their voices and opinions can be elevated to that space that I have the privilege of sitting in. Our families are leaders and change makers and we have much to continue to learn from them! </span></span></p> <h3><strong><span><span>How does your school support Hispanic students?</span></span></strong></h3> <p>In addition to the social emotional and academic supports that we provide all of our students, there are a number of ways in which we go above and beyond to support our Latine students. Of course, we can always be doing more and continue to learn more about ways to support our Latine students and families.</p> <p>We have a teacher-funded Dare to Dream Scholarship that provides two graduating undocumented seniors a $6,000 scholarship for college as well as targeted mentorship. This was started by our teachers who know that our undocumented students are not eligible for federal funding, which can make accessing college more difficult. Our Undocumented Student Task Force, made up of staff from across our network, reviews those scholarship applications and provides trainings for staff on how to best support our undocumented community.</p> <p>During the pandemic which our majority Latine community was deeply affected by, we developed a Crisis Relief Fund. These were grants of up to $1,000 that supported our community during a time of a lot of uncertainty and loss. We also ensured each of our students had a laptop and internet to access remote learning and access to mental health services.</p> <h3><strong><span><span>Why do you think Hispanic Heritage Month is important?</span></span></strong></h3> <p>It's important to not only tell one dominant story of America. There are so many ways in which the Latino culture has contributed to our history to the modern inventions we have today, and even the ways it permeates our culture now. We're more than just mariachis, tacos, and salsa music. Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for us as a society to tell and celebrate those stories and all of the beautiful and different aspects of our culture.</p> <h3><strong>How is your school celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?</strong></h3> <p>We have 10 schools across the Denver area that serves over 3,400 students. Each of our schools celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the way that is special for their specific community. Our STRIVE Prep - Ruby Hill elementary campus, for example, hosted their 5th annual Festival of the Americas, including dance performances from a local Folklorico group, classroom craft activities, and a community potluck and Mariachi party. STRIVE Prep - RISE High School, on the other hand, hosted a community meeting to honor and spread awareness of Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrate our diversity, and educate on the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements in society.</p> <p>As a network, we also recently hosted our latest virtual Ed Equity series event that I had the pleasure of moderating. It's an opportunity to listen to our Latine colleagues share their experiences, perspectives, and hopes for the future of education.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Kayley Pham is the coordinator of social and digital media at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/07/heritage-informing-leadership-strive-preps-daniella-morello" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Wed, 06 Oct 2021 21:10:22 +0000 kayleypham 28156 at https://www.publiccharters.org Heritage, Heroes, and Goals: A Young Leader’s Perspective https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/06/heritage-heroes-and-goals-young-leaders-perspective <span>Heritage, Heroes, and Goals: A Young Leader’s Perspective </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/brittnee" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brittnee</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/05/2021 - 13:37</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/brittnee-exum" hreflang="en">Brittnee Exum</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-10-06T12:00:00Z">October 6, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-10/3030_v1_Carver_250x250.png?itok=HFB3SYOj" width="251" height="251" alt="Artemisio Romero Y Carver " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Artemisio Romero Y Carver is a college student, climate activist, poet, and one of our <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/about-charter-schools/charter-school-trailblazers/30-under-30-changemakers-award">30 Under 30 Changemakers</a>. He’s almost a full month into his first semester at Washington University in Saint Louis and plans to graduate in 2025 with degrees in Sociology and Studio Art.  </p> <p>Artemisio is also a 2020 graduate of the New Mexico School of the Arts, where he gained a solid foundation in academics and a strong sense of self.  </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“The most important thing that NMSA gave me was heroes. Those heroes were my teachers and my peers. People I could look to as role models, guides, or proofs of concept. Examples of how I can teach, brave, and better the world around me.</em></p> <p><em>Let me be specific, I’m talking about my art teachers, Talon Claybrook, Karina Hean, and Andres Machin—my colleagues and fellow students, Yang Toledo, and Elena Gonzales, among many others. A lot of what I consider my best qualities, I first saw exemplified in them.” </em></p> </blockquote> <p>While Artemisio has grown tremendously, his journey has not always been easy. Thinking about the paths he has taken, Artemisio explains what each step has meant to him.   </p> <blockquote> <p><em>“To me, Hispanic Heritage Month serves as a reminder. When I was younger, I tended to run from my heritage, out of internalized racism. At the same time the educational systems around me offered very little true evidence of my Latin history, and that erasure only made it easier for me to erase myself.  </em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>Eventually I ran far enough that I found myself attending a one-semester boarding school out of state. A combination of homesickness and research assignments led me to start reading essays and texts on the borderlands. While at the corner desk of a dorm room, I found that much of what I assumed or was taught about my people, and by extension myself, was not true. </em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p><em>I conceived of my community as politically absent, until I read about the Chicano Movement. I needed</em>—<em>and need</em>—<em>our history to understand myself. As a community, we need our history in order to conceive of a better future. This process of unearthing buried beauty, and finding unmarked graves, will take so much longer than a month. So, I treat Hispanic Heritage Month as a reminder for us to learn and create our history.” </em></p> </blockquote> <p>And Artemisio is committed to creating history and making the world around him a better place. He is the co-founder and policy director of Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA). YUCCA is a nonprofit that trains young activists in social and environmental justice organizing and more. Currently, this group is working to advocate for strong climate provisions in President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill. To donate to or learn how to partner with YUCCA, <a href="https://www.yuccanm.org/donate">visit their website</a>.  </p> <p>Artemisio asks for allyship in the classroom.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Students are facing existential and concrete threats, to their futures, to their communities, and to their lives. Now is a time to be forgiving and patient. It is also a time when educators should be listening as well as teaching.” </em> </p> </blockquote> <img alt="Heritage Month Poem" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="33f5680a-2a14-4374-97a7-37a28b942037" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/30U30_v1%20%28Page%201%29.jpg" class="align-center" /> <p> </p></div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/10/06/heritage-heroes-and-goals-young-leaders-perspective" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Tue, 05 Oct 2021 17:37:25 +0000 Brittnee 28121 at https://www.publiccharters.org Congratulations to 15 Charter Schools Honored as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/27/congratulations-15-charter-schools-honored-2021-national-blue-ribbon-schools <span>Congratulations to 15 Charter Schools Honored as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Fri, 09/24/2021 - 12:48</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/fiona-sheridan-mciver" hreflang="en">Fiona Sheridan-McIver</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-09-27T12:00:00Z">September 27, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-09/Diverse%20Group%20of%20Students%20stock%20image.png?itok=7YS2KJIa" width="250" height="250" alt="Diverse Group of Students stock image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Each year, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes a cohort of exemplary schools from around the country as National Blue Ribbon Schools. Schools are honored either as Exemplary High-Performing Schools, for top academic achievement in each state, or as Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools, for exceptional growth in closing achievement gaps between student groups.  </p> <p>These schools have also demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their students and communities while still achieving high levels of academic excellence. According to new data on enrollment, <strong><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/our-work/publications/voting-their-feet-state-level-analysis-public-charter-school-and-district">charter schools experienced a 7% boost in enrollment</a> </strong>between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years—in part because of the nimbleness and flexibility charter schools have shown during the pandemic.</p> <p>This year we celebrate the 15 charter schools honored as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools: </p> <ul> <li>Soldotna Montessori Charter School (Soldotna, AK) </li> <li>Desert View Academy (Yuma, AZ) </li> <li>Elevate School (San Diego, CA) </li> <li>University High School (Fresno, CA) </li> <li>BASIS DC Public Charter School (Washington, DC) </li> <li>AcadeMir Charter School Middle (Miami, FL) </li> <li>Charter School of Excellence at Davie (Pembroke Pines, FL) </li> <li>Somerset Academy Silver Palms (Homestead, FL) </li> <li>Terrace Community Middle School (Tampa, FL) </li> <li>Benjamin Franklin High School (New Orleans, LA) </li> <li>Lake Forest Elementary Charter School (New Orleans, LA) </li> <li>St. Croix Preparatory Academy Middle School (Stillwater, MN) </li> <li>Pinecrest Academy of Nevada Inspirada (Henderson, NV) </li> <li>Icahn Charter School 3 (Bronx, NY) </li> <li>Sallie B Howard Charter School (Wilson, NC) </li> </ul> <p>Congratulations to <a href="https://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/"><strong>all the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools</strong></a> and thank you for your commitment to excellence and equity! </p> <p> </p> <p><em>Fiona Sheridan-McIver is the senior manager of government relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/us-department-education" hreflang="en">U.S. Department of Education</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/27/congratulations-15-charter-schools-honored-2021-national-blue-ribbon-schools" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Fri, 24 Sep 2021 16:48:25 +0000 Melinda 27994 at https://www.publiccharters.org 3 Things to Know About Charter School Enrollment During the Pandemic https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/22/3-things-know-about-charter-school-enrollment-during-pandemic <span>3 Things to Know About Charter School Enrollment During the Pandemic</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/brittnee" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brittnee</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/20/2021 - 17:48</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/brittnee-exum" hreflang="en">Brittnee Exum</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-09-22T12:00:00Z">September 22, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-09/Staff%20and%20families%20at%20Rainier%20Valley%20Leadership%20Academy%20in%20Washington%20State.png?itok=wAy6f2R3" width="250" height="250" alt="Staff and families at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy in Washington State" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>America’s public charter school sector is expanding and meeting the needs of families and students. Data obtained by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools indicates charter school enrollment grew 7% in the 2020-21 school year, while district public school enrollment decreased in every state. </p> <p>Parents voted with their feet when it came to education—and chose high-quality public educational options that better fit their children’s needs.  </p> <h3><strong>1. Enrollment in Public Charter Schools is Up—Way Up </strong></h3> <p>Charter schools now serve approximately 3.5 million students. An analysis conducted across 42 states by the National Alliance demonstrated a 7% increase from the 2019-20 to 2020-21 school year. More than 240,000 students were newly enrolled in public charter schools.   </p> <h3><strong>2. Overall Enrollment in Public Schools is Down </strong></h3> <p>The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported in June of 2021 that enrollment in public schools plummeted, “by its largest margin in at least two decades.” According to Education Week, every state experienced a dip in enrollment—overall losing <a href="https://www.edweek.org/leadership/more-than-1-million-students-didnt-enroll-during-the-pandemic-will-they-come-back/2021/06">1.4 million students</a>.  </p> <h3><strong>3. Families are Making Lasting Changes  </strong> </h3> <p>The National Parents Union surveyed parents during the 2020-21 school year. <a href="https://nationalparentsunion.org/npu-polling/">Results show </a><a href="https://nationalparentsunion.org/npu-polling/">80% of parents had an eye-opening experience</a> that led to increased parental involvement and the desire to have more engagement with the schools to provide input regarding their child’s education. This became especially important during the pandemic, where many parents sought more public school options for their students. And like many things in our changing world, there is little to no desire to return to “business as usual.” </p> <p>This includes parents like Tallahassee father, Matt Mohler, who knew it was time for a change after watching his children struggle through online learning at a district school in his community. He enrolled his five children, all under age 10, in Tallahassee Classical Charter School, where he was blown away by his children’s progress at their new school.</p> <blockquote> <h4>For additional information, including data and parent testimonies, read <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/enrollment">Voting With Their Feet: A State-level Analysis of Public Charter School and District Public School Enrollment Trends</a>.  </h4> </blockquote> <p><em>Brittnee Exum is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/enrollment" hreflang="en">enrollment</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/enrollment-share" hreflang="en">enrollment share</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/22/3-things-know-about-charter-school-enrollment-during-pandemic" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Mon, 20 Sep 2021 21:48:30 +0000 Brittnee 27956 at https://www.publiccharters.org Three Things I Learned During My Internship as a Charter School Alum https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/08/three-things-i-learned-during-my-internship-charter-school-alum <span>Three Things I Learned During My Internship as a Charter School Alum</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Tue, 09/07/2021 - 13:34</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/jasmine-guan" hreflang="en">Jasmine Guan</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-09-08T12:00:00Z">September 8, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-09/Student%20stock%20image%20%281%29.png?itok=rw2WPvu_" width="250" height="250" alt="Students at lunch table" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span><span>I’ve always been a strong advocate for public charter schools. That's because I went to </span></span><a href="https://www.kipp.org/school/kipp-king-collegiate-high-school/"><span><span>KIPP King Collegiate</span></span></a><span><span>, a public charter high school in San Lorenzo, California. I’ll always be grateful to my school for changing my life for the better.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>As a proud charter school alumna, I’ve never felt more prepared and supported to advance my career as a first-generation college student. I am honored to be a part of the charter community, and I will eternally be grateful to my parents for making the best decision for me.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>It was KIPP’s Alumni Internship Program that helped me connect with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools as an intern this summer. The internship not only provided me with valuable experience for my future career, but it also reinforced my belief in the critical role that charter schools play in public education.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Every month has taught me something new and I’d like to share some of my highlights and lessons learned:</span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>There is always more to learn.</span></span></strong> </span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span>As part of my internship, I had the opportunity to attend and be behind the scenes at the 2021 National Charter School Conference, an annual event for charter school educators and advocates across the country held by the National Alliance. I learned firsthand how the National Alliance plays an important role in the community of charter schools and in providing resources to all students and teachers. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>One session that stood out to me was “Teaching While Traumatized,' presented by educators from the Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys in Washington, D.C. In this session, I learned about adverse childhood experience scores, why they matter, and how charter schools can support teachers. Returning to the new normal can be mentally taxing on everyone and, with teachers being one of the important components, there needs to be a focus on mental wellbeing. Teachers deserve to be appreciated and checked in on. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Charter school students, leaders, and teachers are changing the world.</span></span></strong> </span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Earlier this year, the National Alliance recognized 30 Under 30 Changemakers--students, alumni, teachers, and school leaders at charter schools who are changing the world today. To amplify their efforts, I wrote and published a blog post, </span></span><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/07/13/words-wisdom-five-under-30-changemakers"><span>Words of Wisdom From 5 Under 30 Changemakers</span></a><span><span>. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>My blog post demonstrates the positive world-changing effect of the individuals in the charter school community, including in their own communities. I hope through my writing at the National Alliance, I have contributed a positive voice to the charter community alongside parent, teacher, student, and leader advocates. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>Charter schools need advocacy more than ever.</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p>I also assisted with the blog post, <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/07/01/celebrating-state-charter-school-legislative-success-2021"><span>Celebrating State Charter School Legislative Success in 2021</span></a><span><span>, which gave insight into the landscape for charter schools in states across the country. To my surprise, there is a strong opposition towards charter schools in legislative houses across states, despite the fact that charter schools work for students like me.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>I am against the actions that are taking place to stop charter schools from getting the resources they need and recognize the National Alliance’s role in protecting charter school students from political headwinds. I have come away from this internship able to be a better advocate for these schools and students as well. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>I firmly agree with the National Alliance’s mission and values that every student deserves an excellent education. As a student who attended both district and charter schools, I am so glad my community had both options available to my family. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Often, I am reminded of my charter school experiences and how without them, I would not be the person I am today. Now I can add the national organization advocating for charter schools to that list too. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><em><span><span>Jasmine Guan is the 2021 summer communications intern at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and an alum of KIPP King Collegiate Charter School. </span></span></em></span></span></span></p></div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/09/08/three-things-i-learned-during-my-internship-charter-school-alum" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Tue, 07 Sep 2021 17:34:19 +0000 Melinda 27845 at https://www.publiccharters.org